A Letter to My Dad — Giving at The Highest Level

by Melody Jean

servehumanitystewarbitkoff2Dear Dad,

I love your quote, here, so much I needed to share. You know me, a thought in my head results in a blog post, oh, so sweet. 🙂 I thought, what better way to share my thoughts than in a letter to you?

By trade I work in the the non profit sector, in fundraising marketing. So in a sense, I get paid to help others. I also have, at many times, just loved the “do good” feeling that results from performing helpful deeds (i.e. giving up my seat on a crowded bus for a woman who is pregnant). Who doesn’t at times?

So for those who “do good” regularly, what profit are we rewarded? Is it the good, yummy, warm, feeling that we get when giving up our seat? The satisfaction in seeing another benefit from our generosity or good deed? Like me, there are so many who get paid to work in a profession that helps others.

–> Selfish-Altruism

Your picture quote highlights a valuable notion “Serving others to serve ourselves.” Most of us do it. I just demonstrated how. And further you state, “Very rare is the person who has been freed of self-interest.”  This, too, is true, indeed. Most of us perform at a level of “selfish-altruism”. You introduced me to that term.

We’re altruistic to earn reward; even if it’s just the “good feeling” of being of service. Your quote is a wonderful reminder that there is a level beyond this basic level of giving.

When we give without thought or acknowledgment of subsequent nice feelings; it just becomes a part of us. It’s innate in a sense. This is the truest sign of “living to serve humanity.”

–> Giving of Self By Instinct

We will see this very often with those who are encapsulated in a terrifying situation (i.e. natural disasters, catastrophic events). Right when it is happening, in that moment, their adrenaline and instinct kicks-in and they just perform good deeds (helping the wounded and dying) without thoughts of self sacrifice, or hopes of feeling good later.

They just do it. This is a natural “good” instinct of mankind. However, it’s been buried by self-interest in some regards. Yet, if we can all act on this “higher” level of giving without having to endure atrocities to do so; mankind will rise higher than it ever has before.

–> Continue with Selfish-Altruism Until You Go Higher

By sharing your quote, I don’t want others to mistake you as implying “Stop what you’re doing if it’s for selfish altruistic purposes.” Because it does not imply that. We need givers at every level, and to be honest, the majority of us are giving for selfish-altruistic reasons. I just share it so that we may be reminded that humanity was meant to serve each other without reward.

Perhaps at some point we will transcend to this higher state of existence. However, until we get there, we should absolutely continue to give of self in any way that we can; even if for selfish altruistic reasons because the world needs “the givers.” Yet, we should remember that we can always, always, aim for something more innate, true, and higher.

Thanks, Dad, for this beautiful reminder. You’ve helped to open my eyes in numerous ways throughout my 39 years. There’s so much gratitude in this, here, heart, that I am your daughter.

Much love,
Melody Jean
Contemporary Seeker


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